Pakistan

August 3, 2005

Pakistan

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The land of Pakistan extends from the Himalaya Mountains to the Arabian Sea along the Indus River and its tributaries. Pakistan is the site of the earliest urban civilization in the world at Mehrgarh in Balochistan settled about 8,000 BCE. It was in these lands that the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the most brilliant in the annals of human history, flourished with its main centers at Moenjo Daro and Chanhu Daro in Sindh, Harappa in the Punjab and also influencing Kashmir, Shahi Tump at Kej in Balochistan and Mehrgarh in Balochistan and Judeiro Daro in the Sarhad. It was here that Buddhist culture blossomed and reached its zenith under the Kushans in the form of Gandhara civilization at the twin cities of Peshawar and Taxila. It was on this very soil that the Greco-Bactrian civilization had its best flowering and left the indelible marks of finest Greek art in the Potwar plateau around Rawalpindi and Kashmir. The entire Balochistan is strewn with the remains of the earliest products of man’s activities. “Pakistan is a region which has been conspicuously important in the development of civilization.” (‘Pakistan and Western Asia’, By Prof. Norman Brown).

History

Isolated remains of Homo Erectus in has been found indicating that Pakistan might have been inhabited since at least the Middle Pleistocene era. The precise date of these remains is unclear, and archaeologists put it anywhere between 200,000 to 500,000 BCE. The fossils are the earliest human remains found in South Asia. The genetical studies have shown that more than 60% of Pakistanis have their Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maternal roots in South Asian specific branches of haplogroup ‘M’. Because of its great time depth and virtual absence in western Eurasians, it has been suggested that haplogroup M was brought to Asia after their evolution in Africa, along the southern route passing through Arabia and Iran, by the earliest migration wave of anatomically modern humans, Homo Sapiens, nearly 60,000 years ago

The original inhabitants of Pakistan may have been the tribals speaking languages related to Munda family of languages. Pakistan was the site of the world’s oldest 8,000 year old civilization at Mehrgarh in the Balochistan province. The Mehrgarh declined about the same time as the Indus Valley Civilization only 200 Kilometers south east was developing. It has been surmised that the Mehrgarh residents moved to fertile Indus River valley as Balochistan became arid over time. The Elamo-Dravidians invaded from the Iranian plateau and settled in the Indus valley around 4000 BCE. The main site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Punjab was the city of Harappa and Moenjo Daro and Chanhu Daro in Sindh. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan, but suddenly went into decline just prior to the invasion of Indo-European Aryan tribes from the Eurasian Steppe nearly 3100 BCE. The Indo-European Aryan tribes moved passed through the northern Punjab and then turned south, avoiding the heavily populated Indus River valley civilization, and settled around the ancient Sarasvati River in India which flowed parallel to the Indus River nearly 300 Kilometer in the east. The descendents of Indo-European Aryan tribes developed Hinduism and the Sarasvati river became the holiest river in their religion. Sarasvati river dried up nearly 2800 BCE as its tributary rivers changed direction towards Indus River and Ganges River due to ancient earthquakes and movements of the tectonic plates. The descendents of Indo-European Aryan tribes then migrated to the Ganges River valley in northern India.

The Indus Valley Civilization of Pakistan and Gangetic Valley Civilization of India have remained separate entities. In fact Pakistan based governments ruled over northern India more often and for much longer periods than Indian based governments have ruled over Pakistan territories. What is more important, Pakistan as an independent country always looked westward and had more connections ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, commercial, as well as political with the Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Central Asian civilizations than with the Gangetic Valley. It was only from the Muslim period onward that it became subservient to northern Indian governments. Even this period is not devoid of revolts and successful assertion of independence by people of Pakistan. In the pre-Muslim period, India’s great expansion covering large portions of the South Asia took place only during the reigns of the Mauryas (3rd century BC), the Guptas (4th century AD), Raja Harsha (7th century AD), the Gurjara empire of Raja Bhoj (8th century AD) and the Pratiharas (9th century AD). It is important to note that except for the Maurya period lasting barely a hundred years, under none of the other dynasties did the Indian based governments ever rule over Pakistan. They always remained east of river Sutlej.

Babylonian Queen Semiramis invaded the Indus Valley about 800 BCE but was defeated. The Scythians invaded from Central Asia and settled in modern Pakistan. The Scythian empire ruled Pakistan around 650 BCE. The Persian King Cyrus invaded in 535 BCE defeated the Scythians and conquered Gandhara in northern Pakistan. Later the Persian Achaemenian Empire under King Darius conquered modern Pakistan in 521 BCE and it remained part of Persian empire for more than two hundred years. Alexander the Great of Macedonia also conquered Persian satrapy of Pakistan in 327 BCE and did briefly crossed into India but returned after his army refused to advance further into South Asia. Pakistan remained part of the Hellenic world for nearly two hundred years. Pakistan was part of the Greek-Bactrian empire of Demetrius who ruled in 190 BCE. The Kushan invaded in 162 CE and Pakistan became part of the Central Asian based Kushan empire.

The Syrian Umayyad Caliphate sent an Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim and it conquered Pakistan territories from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea, in 711 BCE. During the Arab rule, the territories of Pakistan were known as ‘Sindh’ and India was known as ‘Hind’. The Arab dynasties ruled Pakistan from Baghdad in Iraq and Damascus in Syria for more than two hundred years. Many inhabitants of Pakistan converted to Islam during the long Arab rule.  The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in the Pakistan.

The five thousand year history of Pakistan reveals that its independence had been a rule while its subservience to or attachment with India an exception. “Throughout most of the recorded history the north-west (i.e. Pakistan) has normally been either independent or incorporated in an empire whose centre lay further in the west. The occasions when it has been governed from a centre further east (India) have been the exception rather than the rule; and the creation of Pakistan which has been described as a geographer’s nightmare is historically a reversion to normal as Pakistan is concerned.” (‘A Study of History’, by A J Toynbee).

During its five thousand year known history, Pakistan has been subservient to Central Indian governments only during the Maurya, the Turko-Afghan and British periods who were Buddhist, Muslim and Christian respectively. While the Mauryan (300-200 BC) and British (1848-1947) periods lasted barely a hundred years each, the Turko-Afghan period was the longest covering a span of more than 600 years. The Mughal Empire ruled most of Pakistan and large parts of India and Bangladesh for more than three hundred years.

Pakistan, the Indus land, is the child of the Indus in the same way as Egypt is the gift of Nile. The Indus has provided unity, fertility, communication, direction and the entire landscape to the country. Its location marks it as a great divide as well as a link between central Asia and south Asia. But the historical movements of the people from Central Asia and Middle East to South Asia have given to it a character of its own and have established closer relation between the people of Pakistan and those of: Iran, Afghanistan, Turkistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhistan, Uighuristan, Kyrghyzistan, Tataristan, Bashkiristan, Daghistan, Chechenistan, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Arab lands or Arabistan and Turkey in the field of culture, religion, ethnicity, language, literature, food, dress, furniture and folklore.

Independence

Modern Pakistan gained it’s independence from the British on 14th August 1947 as the British empire in South Asia was divided on religious regions. The Hindu and Sikhs fanatics massacred over one million Muslims refugees fleeing from India. This modern Islamic nation was established after a long freedom struggle by the leaders of the Muslim League; Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Shair-e-Mashriq (Poet of the East) Mohammad Iqbal, Quaid-e-Millat (Leader of the Nation) Liaqat Ali Khan, and Madr-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation) Fatima Jinnah.

Trade

It is the Arabian Sea that has opened the doors for journey beyond to the Arabian world through the Persian Gulf and Red Sea right into the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt. It is this Sea voyage that gave to the Indus Land its earliest name of Meluhha because the Indus people were characterized as Malahha (Sailor) or Meluhha in the Babylonian records. It is for this reason that the oldest civilization of this land, called Indus Valley Civilization, had unbreakable bonds of culture and trade link with the Persian Gulf States of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Qatar, Bahrain and right from Yemen and Oman to Kuwait and Persia. While a Meluhhan village sprang up in ancient Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq), the Indus seals, painted pottery, Lapis Lazuli and many other items were exchanged for copper, tin and several other objects from Oman and Persian Gulf States. It is to facilitate this trade that the Indus writing was evolved in the same proto-symbolic style as the contemporary cuneiform writing of Mesopotamia. The Baloch and Sindh coastal ports also carried extensive trade with African ports in Ethiopia, Somalia, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Tanzania. Pakistan ports were also very active in trade with Roman and Byzantine empires. The fables of Sindbad the sailor, ‘Sindbad Jahazi’ (Sindbad the Shipmate), (Sindbad is Sindh-abad) are also based on historical Sindhi trading expeditions to other parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, Red Sea and Persian Gulf. Much later in history it is the pursuit of this seaward trade that introduced Islam from Arabia in to Pakistan. Pakistani ports also had extensive trade with Ottoman and Safavid empires. The twin foundations of cultural and religious link have helped build the stable edifice of Islamic civilization in this country. All these cultural developments are embedded in the personality of the people of Pakistan.

Economy

Pakistan, a developing country, is the sixth most populous in the world and has faced a number of challenges on the political and economic fronts. Although a very poor country when it became independent in 1947, in the 1960s Harvard economists proclaimed it to be a model of economic development. In each of its first four decades, Pakistan’s economic growth rate was better than the global average, but imprudent policies led to a slowdown in the late 1990s.

Since then, the Pakistani government has instituted wide-ranging reforms, and economic growth has accelerated in the current century. Pakistan’s economic outlook has brightened and its manufacturing and financial services sectors have experienced rapid expansion. The growth of the non-agricultural sectors has changed the structure of the economy, and agriculture now only accounts for roughly one-fifth of the GDP. There has been a great improvement in its foreign exchange position and a rapid growth in hard currency reserves in recent years. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2005, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate was 8.4% which is (after China) the second-highest among the ten most populous countries in the world.

Pakistan economy is based on agriculture, industry and expanding services sector. The main agriculture crops are: Wheat, Rice, Sugar, Corn, Cotton, various fruits, legumes and vegetables. The main industries are: Textile, Steel, Machinery, Pharmaceutical, Cement, Automobile, and consumer goods.

Geography

Pakistan has a total area of 803,940 square kilometers (land area of 778,720 km²), approximately the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. To Pakistan’s east is India, which has a 2,912 km (1,809 mile) border with Pakistan. To the west is Iran, which has a 909 km (565 mile) border with Pakistan. To Pakistan’s northwest lies Afghanistan, with a shared border of 2,430 km (1,510 miles). China is towards the northeast and has a 523 km (325 mile) border with Pakistan. To the south is the Arabian Sea, with 1,046 km (650 mile) of coastline. The northern and western areas of Pakistan are mountainous. Kashmir contain some of the highest mountains in the world, including K2 and Nanga Parbat. Northern Pakistan has many areas of preserved moist temperate forest. In the southeast is the Cholistan or Thar Desert which extends into India. West-central Balochistan has a high desert plateau, bordered by low mountain ranges. Most areas of the Punjab, and parts of Sindh, are fertile plains where agriculture is of great importance.

Demographics and Society

The population of Pakistan in 2006 is estimated to be over 166 million. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad (City of Islam). There are five provinces of Pakistan: Kashmir, Punjab, Sarhad, Balochistan, and Sindh. The languages of Pakistan are Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Kashmiri, Seraiki, Baloch, Brahui, etc. Arabic is the religious language, Persian or Farsi is the cultural language, Urdu is the national language and English is the official language of Pakistan.

Major ethnic groups in Pakistan are: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pakhtuns, Kashmiris, Muhajirs, Seraikis, Balochis, Brahuis, and others. The smaller ethnic groups are mainly found in the northern parts of the country such as Turwalis, Kafiristanis, Hindko, Khowar, Shina etc. Pakistan’s census does not include the sizeable refugee population from neighboring Afghanistan, who are found mainly in the Sarhad, Balochistan and Karachi. From the 1980s, Pakistan accommodated over four million Afghan refugees – the largest refugee population in the world, including Pakhtuns, Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks and Hazaras. Majority of the Afghan refugees have permanently settled in Pakistan. A large number of Bangali immigrants from Bangladesh have settled in Karachi, while hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Iran are scattered throughout the country. There is also a sizeable community of Muslim refugees from Myanmar (Burma) and Africa concentrated in Karachi. There is also a small and influential immigrant Arab minority.

Religion

The people of Indus river valley followed several ancient tribal religions. Later the Hinduism and Buddhism from India; Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism from Persia; and Hellenic religion from Greece, flourished in Pakistan. The Semitic religious traditions from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as expressed in Torah, Bible and Quran have been integral part of Pakistan’s religious identity.

Pakistan remains deeply conservative Islamic nation with over 98% Muslim population and high pilgrimage rate to Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia. The Muslims are divided into different sects which are called schools of jurisprudence i.e. ‘Maktab-e-Fikr’ (School of Thought) in Urdu. Nearly 80% of Pakistani Muslims are Sunnis and 20% are Shias. The nearly all Pakistani Sunni Muslims belong to Hanafi school with a small Hanbali school represented by Wahabis. The Hanafi school is divided into Barelvis and Deobandis. While majority of Pakistani Shia Muslims belong to Ithna Ashari school with significant minority of Nizari Ismaili and a small Dawoodi Bohra schools. By one estimate, in Pakistan, Muslims are divided into following schools: the Barelvis 48%, Deobandis 25%, Ithna Ashari 19%, Ahle Hadith 4%, Ismailis 1%, Bohras 0.25%, and other smaller sects. The Ahle-e-Hadith is a small group of Sunni Muslims in Pakistan who do not consider themselves bound by any particular school of law and rely directly on the Prophet’s Sunnah. Nearly 65% of the total seminaries are run by Deobandis, 25 per cent by the Barelvis, six percent by the Ahle Hadith and three percent by various Shia organizations. There are small but influential small Shia sects belonging to Nizari Ismaili and Dawoodi Bohra schools of jurisprudence. Zikris are considered to be a heretical sect by mainstream Muslims.

The non-Muslim minorities are nearly 2% of the population and they include: Christians, Hindus, Parsis (Zoroastrians) and Ahmadis, and others.

http://www.shaikhsiddiqui.com/pakistan.html

Urdu

July 18, 2005

Urdu

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It is a common assumption that Urdu was born in the Mughal camps of Emperor Mohammad Shah Jahan (1628–58 CE) some time during the first half of the seventeenth century. It is hardly surprising that this is so wide spread because the proponents of the theory are such stalwarts as Maulana Mohammad Hussain Azad, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Mir Aman Dehlvi. These lines are written to keep the record straight and give the reader a general idea about this highly debatable, contentious and interesting issue.

It is not an easy job to dig out the roots any language, it can be likened to pinpointing the origin of a river : you can get entirely different results from following different courses. But the case of Urdu is a little different, which makes the job doubly difficult, as we shall explore in the following lines.

Like most other languages of the world, Urdu too started its literature through poetry. Now if we pin down the first Urdu poet, we should be able to trace down the origins of the language to a fair degree. So the million dollar question : Who was the first Urdu poet?

Various answers have been given to this question: Maulana Mohammad Hussain Azad wrote in the monumental Aab-e-Hayat’ (Water of Life) asserts that Wali Deccani (1644-1707 CE) is the “Bava Adam” (founding father) of Urdu poetry. The line was stretched further back by subsequent research and the honor was handed over to Quli Qutub Shah (1565-1610 CE), a King of Golkanda.

Modern research, however, has dug even deeper and now Khawaja Masud Saad Salman a celebrated Persian poet whose era spans the 12th century AD is generally acknowledged as the first Urdu poet. The predicament here is that we don’t have any written Kalaam, i.e. written work, of Khawaja with us, not even a single shair (stanza) ! All we know of his writing in Urdu (the language was certainly not known by this name in those times) is a statement by Amir Khusrau (1253-1325 CE) who reports in the preface of his famous book ‘Ghuratul Kamal’ that Khawaja Masud Saad Salman had his Dewan (poetry collections) in three languages : Persian, Turkish and Urdu.

Khawaja Masud Saad Salman was a resident of Lahore, which was the capital of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and his predecessors from 413H to 583H, i.e 979-1030 AD. The first active interaction of South Asian languages with Persian must have started during this period because large number of Persian speaking Muslims flocked to Punjab. The army comprised of both the local and migrant soldiers. A fair number of preachers and Sufis, for example Hazrat Ali Hujveri popularly know as Data Ganj Bakhsh (died 465 CE) and Shah Yousuf (died 550 CE) started spreading the message of Islam to the local population. A lot of intermarriages must have taken place. The lively interaction between the cultures must have necessitated a common language. It is thought that even Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi may have some acquaintance with the local languages because his royal stamp bore an inscription in Sanskrit on one side and Arabic on the other side. Some Hindu poets had also written Qasidas (Eulogies) in honor of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in Sanskrit.

Professor Hafiz Mahmud Shirani in his historic book “Punjab Mein Urdu” (Urdu in Punjab) stresses that this interaction between the local languages of Punjab with Persian of the settlers gave birth to a proto language. When Sultan Qutb-ud-Din Aibak (1150-1210 CE) shifted capital from Lahore to Delhi in 1193, hundreds of thousands of people – soldiers, scholars, writers, tribes, merchants, government employees, artists, Sufis and others — migrated en masse with him and took this proto language with them. This language when interacted with the local dialects of Delhi and surrounding areas gradually developed into modern Urdu.

A crucial question arises at this juncture: which was or were the languages being spoken in Delhi at that time? To answer this question, we have to delve a little deeper into history in fact, right into the Stone Age!

It is generally assumed that the Dravidians were the original inhabitants of South Asia and the Aryans displaced them. But excavations at various sites in South Asia have shown that the Dravidians themselves were the invaders from Iran and they occupied the South Asia long before the Moenjodaro and Harrappa civilizations. The aboriginal people of South Asia are known as the Munda tribes, which are thought to be related to the Aborigines of Australia. The Munda people spoke various languages like Bhel, Svara, Kaul, etc. The languages of the two civilizations intermixed and gave rise to new languages. It is interesting to note that many word we used commonly in Urdu jhoNpaRee (hut), naanaa (grandfather), saalaa (brother-in-law), aaNchal (scarf), gehnaa (bracelot), kos (mile), dhatooraa, karailaa (Zucchini), phaaTak (door), DanDaa (stick), daalaan, DheeT (stubborn), aRos paRos, dhoom dhaam (lavish celebration) etc. actually date back to that Munda period, thousands of years ago. The interaction of the invading Dravidian with the Munda must have created some new languages, called the Dravidian languages.

Like Muslim invasion of the Indus valley at the turn of the millennium, a similar invasion of South Asia had taken place around 3500 years ago: the invasion of the fair, tall, horse-wielding warriors from Eurasian steppes, the Aryans. The Aryans came in several waves, over a period of several hundred years. Upon their entry in South Asia the Aryans encountered the Dravidian languages. It is interesting to note that Brahui, a living language spoken in Balochistan province of Pakistan, is also a Dravidian language, as are many Dravidian languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, etc. in the southern region of South Asia.

Aryans spoke pure Aryan language which later split into Sanskrit spoken by Aryans in South Asia and Avestan by Aryans of Iran. It is commonly believed that Aryan tribes from Eurasia invaded Iran and South Asia and they were closely related. Sanskrit was the language spoken by Aryan invaders and local inhabitants spoke various dialects of Dravidian and Munda languages. Naturally, over time, language of the rulers got mixed up with the local languages the scenario being not very different from what happened with the invasion of Muslim millennia later. The languages produced after this interaction are called Prakrits. Since different Dravidian languages were spoken in different part of the country, many kinds of Prakrits came into existence.

These Prakrits became the standard literary languages and the elite started exploiting them for religious and political purposes. At the same time, another type of languages, called the Up Bhransas, were slowly emerging. While the Prakrits were greatly influenced by Sanskrit, the Up Bharansas, being the vernacular, stood widely apart from Sanskrit.

The Up Bharansa languages have three major groups:

1. The Dravidian group : with contained Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Brahui, etc.
2. The Pushachi group : encompassing Khari Boli, Sindhi, Punjabi, Siraiki, Hindko, Kashmiri, Hariyanvi, etc.
3. The Darda group : which contains Pakhtun and Balochi.

The Pushachi group had a language called ‘Khari Boli’ which originated from a kind of Prakrit, called the Shorseni Prakrit. The name Khari Boli means “the standing language”, which denotes that most verbs end at an “a”, like khaayaa, aayaa, etc. at which differentiates it from other languages, which are called Pari Bolis “the sitting language”, where the verbs usually end at “o”, like khaa’io, aa’io, etc.

Most linguists think that this Khari Boli, rather than Brij Bhasha, was the language that was spoken in Delhi when Muslim arrived.

Now Khari Boli was an isolated, limited language, compared to other languages in nearby areas. Because both languages belonged to the Pushachi group, the Khari Boli and Punjabi were very similar. When the Punjabi speaking Muslims entered Delhi, they found Khari Boli very similar to Punjabi, which they had learned during their stay of near two century old sojourn in Punjab. They could relate to it easily and managed to learn it very quickly. They gave the language a new life by adopting it and introduced new vocabulary and idiom. Being the language of the ruling class, the language soon evolved to be the forerunner of modern Urdu. In those early times, it had a strong influence of Punjabi, but as time passed, it starting developing its own character.

More than any other sector of a society, the religious scholars and preachers need to be in touch with the masses. The Islamic Sufis also did the same thing; they addressed common folk in their own language. The first incidence of usage of Urdu as we know it came from a well known Sufi, Baba Fareed Ganj Shakar. Pir Shamsuddin Sabzwari (1241-1356 CE), Pir Sadruddin (1300-1416 CE), Pir Hasan Kabiruddin (1341-1449 CE), Pir Tajuddin (d. 1449 CE) and Syed Imam Shah, (d. 1520 CE) were also Sufis who wrote poetry in Urdu.

The first recorded Urdu sentence that we know of came in the form of a dialogue between Baba Fareed (died 1264 CE) and the maid of another famous Sufi, Khawaja Burhanuddin. Baba Fareed has also the distinction of writing the first piece of Urdu poetry.

Baba Fareed was quickly succeeded by an imposing figure, Amir Khusrau (1253-1325 CE). His was a multi dimensional personality in the true sense of the word. Besides being a great Islamic Sufi, a splendid Persian poet and probably the greatest maestro in the history of South Asia, Amir Khusrau stands tall in the world of Urdu as well. Although doubts persist over the authorship of several of his Urdu works, he undoubtedly played an important role in bridging the gap between the language of the elite and the folks. Many of his Geet (songs), Paheliyaan (puzzles) and keh-mukarniyaan still prevail.

In 1326, fearing an eminent attack from the barbarian Mongols, the eccentric Delhi Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq ordered the entire population of Delhi to migrate to the Southern city of Daulatabad nearly 1100 km away. The decree was so all encompassing that for a long time, the streets of Delhi were inhabited by jackals and hyenas.

Thousands of people died on their way, many more reached their new homeland. These people took with them, among other things, their language also, and soon Urdu was reverberating in the alien environs of Deccan, where the Indo-Aryan and Perso-Arabic Urdu must have been total stranger in an area dominated by Dravidian languages. The southern Behmanis Dynasty soon severed ties with the north and, declaring Deccan as an independent state. This secluded environment of Deccan served as a catalyst for the growth of Urdu, which was subsequently named Deccani. As always, the Sufis played their linguistic role and Urdu literature started appearing. Some people think that ‘Mairajul Aashiqeen’ by Khawaja Banda Nawaz Gaisu Draz (died, 1421 CE), is the first Urdu prose book. This book was written sometime in early fifteenth century. There is evidence that the Behmani rulers used Urdu as a state language, a factor that greatly contributed to its growth. In fact, the first ‘Sahib-e-Dewan’ (Person of poetic collection) Urdu poet, Sultan Quli Qutub Shah (1565-1610 CE), was a king of the Deccan state of Golkanda. Sultan Quli Qutub was a prolific poet and has left more than 50,000 couplets in Deccani, Telugu and Persian.

Sultan Quli Qutub Shah’s contemporary and his courtier Mullah Wajhi is a landmark figure in the history of Urdu prose. Considered as the first important Urdu prose work, his immortal book ‘Sab Ras’ is still taught in MA Urdu courses in some Universities of both South Asia. Although translated from a Persian book, ‘Sab Ras’ tells an allegorical tale with consummate fluency and is considered a literary marvel across the board.

The first literary work in Urdu is that of Bidar poet Fakhruddin Nizami’s Masnavi ‘Kadam Rao Padam Rao’ written between 1421 and 1434 A.D. Kamal Khan Rustami (Khawar Nama) and Nusrati (Gulshan-e-Ishq, Ali Nama and Tarikh-e-Iskandari) were two great Urdu poets of Bijapur.

All these advances paved the way for Wali Deccani (1635-1707 CE) , the first poet in our selection of 100 books. He visited Delhi some time in early eighteenth century and created quite a stir in the stagnant water of Northern Urdu literature, which had deteriorated under the influence of the state-sponsored Persian. As mentioned earlier, Wali is often called the Adam of Urdu poetry. Urdu poets like Siraj Aurangabadi (1715-1763 CE) also deserves mention.

Wali’s stay in Delhi was so inspirational that it immediately bore fruit in the form of the so called Golden Period of Urdu poetry. Such giants as Shaikh Zahuruddin Hatim (1699-1781 AD), Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janan (1699-1781 AD), Mir Taqi Mir (1723-1810 CE), Mirza Mohammad Rafi Sauda (1713-80 CE), Khwaja Mir Dard (1721-85 CE), and Mir Hasan (1727- 1786 AD) were among a galaxy of other names that lived in that period. Each of these is still to be surpassed in their respective genres: Mir in Ghazal, Sauda in Qasida, Dard in Sufi poetry and Mir Hassan in Masnavi.

The ‘Ghazal’ in Urdu represents the most popular form of subjective poetry, while the ‘Nazm’ exemplifies the objective kind, often reserved for narrative, descriptive, didactic or satirical purposes. Under the broad head of the Nazm we may also include the classical forms of poems known by specific names such as ‘Masnavi’ (a long narrative poem in rhyming couplets on any theme: romantic, religious, or didactic), ‘Marsia’ (an elegy traditionally meant to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, and his comrades of the Karbala fame), or ‘Qasida’ (a panegyric written in praise of a king or a nobleman), for all these poems have a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded. However, these poetic species have an old world aura about their subject and style, and are different from the modern Nazm, supposed to have come into vogue in the later part of the nineteenth century.

Among the other important writers of Deccani Urdu were Shah Miranji Shamsul Ushaq (Khush Nama and Khush Naghz), Shah Burhanuddin Janam, Mullah Wajhi (Qutb Mushtari and Sabras), Ghawasi (Saiful Mulook-O- Badi-Ul-Jamal and Tuti Nama), Ibn-e-Nishati (Phul Ban) and Tabai (Bhahram-O-Guldandam). Wajhi’s Sabras is considered to be a masterpiece of great literary and philosophical merit. Vali Mohammed or Vali Deccani (Diwan) was one of the most prolific Deccani poets of the medieval period. He developed the form of the Ghazal. When his Diwan (Collection of Ghazals and other poetic genres) reached philosophical, the poets of Delhi who were engaged in composing poetry in Persian language, were much impressed and they also started writing poetry in Urdu, which they named Rekhta.

When the Persian King Nadir Shah (1688-1747 CE) invaded and captured Delhi in 1739, many people, including Urdu writers, left Delhi and settled in Lucknow, which soon developed as the new hub of Urdu literature. In the peaceful environment of Lucknow, not only poetry but prose also thrived. Inshaullah Khan Insha wrote a magnificent tale, ‘Rani Ketki Ki Kahani’, in a language deliberately devoid of even a single word of Persian and Arabic. Some people opine that Rani Ketki in fact the first Urdu short story. Lucknow made its way as the third important centre of Urdu poetry with Ghulam Hamdani Mushafi (1725-1824 CE), Inshallah Khan Insha (1757-1817 CE), Khwaja Haidar Ali Atish (1778-1846 CE), Iman Baksh Nasikh (1787-1838 CE), Mir Babr Ali Anis (1802-74 CE) and Mirza Salamat Ali Dabir (1803-1875 CE). It reached its height of excellence during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, drama started appearing at Urdu scene. The first dramatist is believed to be Amant Lucknowi, and his drama Indar Sabha is considered as the first Urdu drama.

The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was a poet with unique style, typified by difficult rhymes, excessive word play and use of idiomatic language. He has authored four voluminous Dewans. Before the national uprising of 1857, the reign of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar witnessed the luxurious spring of Urdu poetry immediately followed by the chilly winds of autumn. Shaik Ibrahim Zauq was the Shah’s mentor in poetry. Next to Sauda he is considered to be the most outstanding composer of Qasidas (panegyrics). Hakim Momin Khan Momin wrote ghazals in a style peculiar to him. He used ghazal exclusively for expressing emotions of love. Any description of Urdu literature can never be complete without the mention of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797-1869 CE), who is considered as the greatest of all the Urdu poets. With his passion for originality, Ghalib brought in a renaissance in Urdu poetry. In the post – Ghalib period, Dagh (b. 1831 CE) emerged as a distinct poet, whose poetry was distinguished by its purity of idiom and simplicity of language and thought.

Modern Urdu literature covers the time from the last quarter of the 19th century to the present day and can be divided into two periods: the period of the Aligarh Movement started by Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan (1817-1898 CE) and the period influenced by Sir Mohammed Iqbal (1877-1938 CE) followed by the Progressive Movement and movements of Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zouq, Modernism and Post modernism. However, Altaf Hussain Hali (1837-1914 CE) is the actual innovator of the modern spirit in Urdu poetry. Hali’s works include : ‘Dewan-e-Hali’, ‘Madd-o-Jazr-e-Islam’, ‘Musaddas-e-Hali’ (1879 CE), ‘Shakwa-e-Hind’ (1887 CE), ‘Munajat-e-Beva’ (1886 CE) and ‘Chup ki Dad’ (1905 CE). Hali showered the art of writing biographies with a critical approach in his biographies ‘Hayat-e-Saadi’ and ‘Hayat-e-Jaweed’. Hali was the pioneer of modern criticism. His ‘Muqaddama-e-Sher-o-Shaeri’ is the foundation stone of Urdu criticism.

Maulana Shibli Naumani (1857- 1914 CE) is considered as the father of modern history in Urdu. He has produced several works based on historical research, especially on Islamic history, like ‘Seerat-un- Nauman’ (1892 CE) and ‘Al Faruq’ (1899 CE). Shibli also produced important works like ‘Swanih Umari Maulana Rum’, ‘Ilmul Kalam’ (1903 CE), ‘Muvazina-e- Anis-o-Dabir’ (1907 CE) and ‘Sher-ul-Ajam’ (1899 CE). Mohammed Hussain Azad was an important writer and poet of this period. He laid the foundation of modern poem in Urdu. ‘Aab-e-Hayat’, ‘Sukhandan-e-Pars’, ‘Darbar-e-Akbari’ and ‘Nazm-e-Azad’ are some of his outstanding literary works. Other leading poets of modern period include Syyid Akbar Husain Akbar Allahabadi (1846-1921 CE), who had a flair for extempore composition of satiric and comic verses, Khushi Mohammed Nazir (1872-1944 CE), who composed ‘Jogi’ and ‘Pani Mein’, Sir Allama Mohammed Iqbal (1873-1938 CE), ‘Durga Sahai Suroor’ (d.1910 CE), Mohammed Ali Jauhar (d.1931 CE) and Hasrat Mohani (d.1951 CE). Iqbal’s poetry underwent several phases of evolution from Romanticism (‘Nala-e-Yateem’ and ‘Abr-e-Guhar Bar’) to South Asian Nationalism (‘Tasvir-e-Dard’, ‘Naya Shivala’ and ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’) and finally to Pan-Islamism (‘Shakva’, ‘Sham-o-Shair’, ‘Jawab-e-Shakva’, ‘Khizr- e-Rah’ and ‘Tulu-e-Islam’). Fani Badayuni (1879-1941 CE), Shad Azimabadi (1846-1927 CE), Yagana Changezi (1884-1956 CE), Asghar Gondavi (1884-1936 CE), Jigar Moradabadi (1896-1982 CE), Akhtar Shirani, Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1912- 1985 CE), Miraji (1912-1950 CE), N.M.Rashid (1910-1976 CE), Akhtarul-Iman (b.1915 CE), Ali Sardar Jafri (b.1913 CE), Makhdoom Mohiuddin (1908 -1969 CE), Kaifi Azmi (b.1918 CE), Jan Nisar Akhtar (1914-1979 CE), Sahir Ludhianvi (1922-1980 CE), Majrooh Sultanpuri (1919-2000 CE), Asrarul Haq Majaz (1911- 1955 CE), Nasir Kazmi, Ibn-e-Insha and Dr Kalim Ajiz have taken the Urdu poetry to new heights.

A new generation of poets emerged around the sixth decade of twentieth century. The leading poets of this generation include Khaleelur Rahman Aazmi, Himyat Ali Shair, Balraj Komal, Ameeq Hanafi, Kumar Pashi, Makhmoor Saidi, Mazhar Imam, Dr Mughni Tabassum, Bani, Munir Niyazi, Suleman Areeb, Aziz Qaisi, Saqi Faruqi, Iftekhar Arif, Saleem Ahmed, Qazi Saleem, Shafiq Fatima Shera, Bashar Nawaz, Akbar Hyderabadi, Waheed Akhter, Shaz Tamkanat, Zubair Razvi, Muztar Majaz, Mushaf Iqbal Tausifi, Zohra Nigah, Kishwar Naheed, Zahida Zaidi, Siddiqa Shabnam and others.

The short story in Urdu began with Munshi Premchand’s ‘Soz-e-Vatan’ (1908 CE). Premchand’s short stories cover nearly a dozen volumes including Prem Pachisi, Prem Battisi, Prem Chalisi, ‘Zad-e-Rah’, ‘Vardaat’, ‘Akhri Tuhfa’ and ‘Khak-e-Parvana’. Mohammed Hussan Askari and Khwaja Ahmed Abbas are counted among the leading lights of the Urdu Short story. The Progressive Movement in Urdu fiction gained momentum under Sajjad Zaheer (1905-1976 CE), Ahmed Ali (1912-1994 CE), Mahmood-uz- Zafar (1908-1994 CE) and Rasheed Jahan (1905-1952 CE). Urdu writers like Rajender Singh Bedi and Krishn Chander (1914-1977 CE) showed commitment to the Marxist philosophy in their writings. Krishn Chander’s ‘Adhe Ghante Ka Khuda’ is one of the most memorable stories in Urdu literature. His other renowned short stories include ‘Zindagi Ke Mor Par’, ‘Kalu Bhangi’ and ‘Mahalaxmi Ka Pul’. Bedi’s Garm ‘Kot’ and ‘Lajvanti’ are among the masterpieces of Urdu short story. Bedi’s important works include collections of short stories, Dana-o-Daam Girhen, Kokh Jali and Apne Dukh Mujhe Dedo etc., collection of plays ‘Saat Khel’ and a novel Ek Chadar Maili Si (1972 CE). Manto, Ismat Chughtai and Mumtaz Mufti form a different brand of Urdu writers who concentrated on the “psychological story” in contrast to the “sociological story” of Bedi and Krishn Chander. Some of Ismat Chughtai’s leading short stories are ‘Chauthi Ka Jora’, ‘Do Hath’, ‘Lehren’ and ‘Lihaf’. Manto dealt in an artistic way with many unconventional subjects, like sex, which were considered taboo by the Middle-class. His ‘Thanda Gosht’, which dealt with the subject of necrophilia, shocked the readers. Another of Manto’s praise-worthy works was ‘Khol Do’, which tackled the horrors of partition. Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi (b.1915 CE) is another leading name in Urdu short story. His important short stories include ‘Alhamd-o- Lillah’, ‘Savab’, ‘Nasib’ and others. In the post-1936 period, the writers belonging to the Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zauq produced several good stories in Urdu. Upender Nath Ashk (Dachi), Ghulam Abbas (Anandi). Intezar Hussain, Anwar Sajjad, Balraj Mainra, Surender Parkash and Qurratul- ain Haider (Sitaroun Se Aage, Mere Sanam Khane) are the other leading lights of Urdu short story. Several leading fiction writers emerged from the city of Hyderabad in the contemporary times, which include Jeelani Bano, Iqbal Mateen, Awaz Sayeed, Kadeer Zaman, Mazhr-uz-Zaman and others.

Novel writing in Urdu can be traced to Nazir Ahmed (1836-1912 CE) who composed several novels like Mirat-ul-Urus (1869 CE), Banat-un-Nash (1873 CE), Taubat-un-Nasuh (1877 CE), Fasana-e-Mubtala (1885 CE), Ibn-ul-Waqt (1888 CE), Ayama (1891 CE) and others. Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar’s (1845-1903 CE) Fasana-e-Azad, Abdul Halim Sharar (1860-1920 CE)’s Badr-un- Nisa Ki Musibat and Agha Sadiq ki Shadi, Mirza Muhammed Hadi Ruswa’s Umrao Jan Ada (1899 CE) are some of the great novels and novelettes written during the period. Niaz Fatehpuri (1887-1966 CE) and Qazi Abdul Gaffar (1862-1956 CE) were the other eminent early romantic novelists in the language. However, it was Premchand (1880-1936 CE) who tried to introduce the trend of realism in Urdu novel. Premchand was a prolific writer who produced several books. His important novels include Bazare-e-Husn (1917 CE), Gosha-e-Afiat, Chaugan-e-Hasti, Maidan- e-Amal and Godan. Premchand’s realism was further strengthened by the writers of the South Asian Progressive Writers’ Association like Sajjad Zaheer, Krishn Chander and Ismat Chughtai. Krishn Chander’s Jab Khet Jage (1952 CE), Ek Gadhe Ki Sarguzasht (1957 CE) and Shikast are considered among the outstanding novels in Urdu literature. Ismat Chughtai’s novel Terhi Lakir (1947 CE) and Qurratul-ain Haider’s novel Aag Ka Darya are considered as important works in the history of Urdu novel. Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Aziz Ahmed, Balwant Singh, Khadija Mastur, Intezar Hussain are the other important writers in Urdu in the contemporary times.

Urdu was not confined to only the Muslim writers. Several writers from other religions also wrote in Urdu. Prominent among them are Munshi Premchand, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar (Fasana- e-Azad) and Brij Narain Chakbast (1882 – 1926 CE), who composed Subh-e- Watan and Tilok Chand Mahrum (1887-1966 CE), who composed Andhi and Utra Hua Darya, Krishn Chander, Rajindar Singh Bedi, Kanhaiyalal Kapur, Upendar Nath Ashk, Jagan Nath Azad, Jogender Pal, Balraj Komal and Kumar Pashi.

Akbar Allahabadi (1846-1921 CE) was the pioneer among the Urdu humorists and satirists. Majeed Lahori, Mehdi Ali Khan, Patras Bokhari (1898- 1958 CE), Mirza Farhatullah Beg, Shafiq-ur-Rahman, Azim Baig Chughtai, Ibn-e-Insha, Mushfiq Khwaja, Mushtaq Ahmed Yousifi, K.L.Kapur, Amjad Hussain, Mujtaba Hussain, Himayatullah and Talib Khundmeri are the other leading names in the field of humour.

Prof. Hafiz Mohammed Sheerani (1888-1945 CE) devoted long years to the field of literary criticism. Others in this field include Shaikh Mohammed Ikram (1907-1976 CE), Sayyid Ihtesham Hussain (1912 – 1976 CE), Mohammed Hasan Askari, Ale-Ahmed Suroor, Mumtaz Husain, Masud Husain, Shams-ur-Rahman Faruqi, Gopichand Narang, Mughni Tabassum (b.1930 CE) and others.

Farhang-e-Asifya is the first Urdu dictionary based on principles of the modern lexicography, which was produced by Maulana Sayyid Ahmed Dehlvi (1846-1920 CE) in 1892.

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Islam

July 10, 2005

Islam

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Muslims are followers of Islam. One of the three major monotheistic religions in the world, Islam calls for complete acceptance of and submission to the teachings and guidance of God. Anyone may become a Muslim, regardless of gender, race, or nationality, by reciting a declaration of faith and embracing a lifestyle in accord with Islamic principles. Specific acts, including fasting, daily prayer, and the pilgrimage to Mecca, are considered the pillars of Muslim spiritual life.

There are an estimated 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. They live in every world region and belong to many different cultures and ethnic groups. The 10 countries with the largest Muslim populations, in descending order, are Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, and China. Of these, only Egypt is an Arab country, and despite the stereotypes, only 193 million of the world’s Muslims—15 to 18 percent of the total—are Arabs.

Islam is a system of religious beliefs and an all-encompassing way of life. The word Islam comes from the word salaam, which means submission or peace. Muslims believe that God (Allah) revealed to the Prophet Prophet Mohammad the rules governing society and the proper conduct of society’s members. It is incumbent on the individual therefore to live in a manner prescribed by the revealed law and on the community to build the perfect human society on earth according to holy injunctions. Islam recognizes no distinctions between church and state. The distinction between religious and secular law is a recent development that reflects the more pronounced role of the state in society, and Western economic and cultural penetration. The impact of religion on daily life in Muslim countries is far greater than that found in the West since the Middle Ages.

The duties of Muslims form the five pillars of Islam, which set forth the acts necessary to demonstrate and reinforce the faith. These are the recitation of the Shahada (“There is no God but God and Prophet Mohammad is his prophet”), daily prayer (Salat), almsgiving (Zakat), fasting (Sawm), and pilgrimage (Hajj).

The believer is to pray in a prescribed manner after purification through ritual ablutions each day at dawn, midday, midafternoon, sunset, and nightfall. Prescribed genuflections and prostrations accompany the prayers, which the worshiper recites facing toward Mecca. Whenever possible men pray in congregation at the mosque with an imam, and on Fridays make a special effort to do so. The Friday noon prayers provide the occasion for weekly sermons by religious leaders. Women may also attend public worship at the mosque, where they are segregated from the men, although most frequently women pray at home. A special functionary, the muezzin, intones a call to prayer to the entire community at the appropriate hour. Those out of earshot determine the time by the sun. The Aazan (Arabic for announcement) is the call or summons to public prayers proclaimed by the Muezzmn (crier) from the mosque twice daily in all Muslim countries. In small mosques the Muezzin at Azan stands at the door or at the side of the building; in large ones he takes up his position in the minaret.

The ninth month of the Muslim calendar is Ramadan, a period of obligatory fasting in commemoration of Prophet Mohammad’s receipt of God’s revelation. Throughout the month all but the sick and weak, pregnant or lactating women, soldiers on duty, travelers on necessary journeys, and young children are enjoined from eating, drinking, smoking, or sexual intercourse during the daylight hours. Those adults excused are obliged to endure an equivalent fast at their earliest opportunity. A festive meal breaks the daily fast and inaugurates a night of feasting and celebration. The pious well-to-do usually do little or no work during this period, and some businesses close for all or part of the day. Since the months of the lunar year revolve through the solar year, Ramadan falls at various seasons in different years. A considerable test of discipline at any time of the year, a fast that falls in summer time imposes severe hardship on those who must do physical work.

All Muslims, at least once in their lifetime, should make the hajj to Mecca to participate in special rites held there during the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. Prophet Mohammad instituted this requirement, modifying pre-Islamic custom, to emphasize sites associated with God and Abraham (Hadrat Ibrahim), founder of monotheism and father of the Arabs through his son Hadrat Ismail.

The lesser pillars of the faith, which all Muslims share, are jihad, or the crusade to protect Islamic lands, beliefs, and institutions; and the requirement to do good works and to avoid all evil thoughts, words, and deeds. In addition, Muslims agree on certain basic principles of faith based on the teachings of the Prophet Prophet Mohammad: there is one God, who is a unitary divine being in contrast to the Trinitarian belief of Christians; Prophet Mohammad, the last of a line of prophets beginning with Abraham and including Moses (Hadrat Musa) and Jesus (Hadrat Isa), was chosen by God to present His message to humanity; and there is a general resurrection on the last or judgment day.

The Muslim year has two religious festivals–Id al Adha, a sacrificial festival on the tenth of Dhu al Hijjah, the twelfth month; and Id al Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, which celebrates the end of Ramadan on the first of Shawwal, the tenth month. To Sunnis these are the most important festivals of the year. Each lasts three or four days, during which people put on their best clothes, visit, congratulate, and bestow gifts on each other. In addition, cemeteries are visited. Id al Fitr is celebrated more joyfully, as it marks the end of the hardships of Ramadan. Celebrations also take place, though less extensively, on the Prophet’s birthday, which falls on the twelfth of Rabi al Awwal, the third month, and on the first of Muharram, the beginning of the new year.

Sharia

During his lifetime, Prophet Mohammad held both spiritual and temporal leadership of the Muslim community. Religious and secular law merged, and all Muslims have traditionally been subject to sharia, or religious law. A comprehensive legal system, sharia developed gradually through the first four centuries of Islam, primarily through the accretion of precedent and interpretation by various judges and scholars. During the tenth century, legal opinion began to harden into authoritative rulings, and the figurative bab al ijtihad (gate of interpretation) closed. Thereafter, rather than encouraging flexibility, Islamic law emphasized maintenance of the status quo.

The word “Islam” means “submission.” A “Muslim,” therefore, is one who submits to the will of God. Shariah, frequently translated as “Islamic law,” is neither a document nor a code in the strict sense, but rather an amalgamation of scriptural (Quranic) injunctions, sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, juridical rulings, and legal commentaries dealing with all aspects of social, economic and political life, similar to Jewish Halakhic law.

Islam, like Judaism, is a religion of laws – it is the legal code, not a theology, which establishes the criteria of right and wrong, proper and improper behavior. Like Halakhah, Shari’a is believed to be ordained by God and its scope to be total, ranging from the loftiest ideals to the minutiae of daily life. Even the words Halakhah and Shariah, have similar meanings and may be translated as the “path” or “road” to righteousness.

In its ideal form, Shariah ensures the rights of all in an Islamic state. Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence; it forms the basis of Shariah and is a process of ongoing interpretation. Thus it is neither static nor monolithic, and may take different forms in different countries or from one period of history to another. A classic text on Shariah, by the fourteenth-century scholar, Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, deals with a wide range of subjects, including purity of heart, fasting, divorce, backbiting, crimes, and rules of warfare.

The hudud can be characterized as the Islamic “penal code” prescribed by Shariah. The rules of hudud identify punishable crimes, the types of witnesses needed to convict someone of a crime, and the punishments for various crimes.

Islam has no basic concept of inalienable rights and does not permit the individual to enjoy the freedoms of action and association characteristic of a democracy. In Islamic states, where there is no formally recognized separation between religion and law, mosque and state, Shari‘a is enshrined and presented (if not always consistently implemented) as the final and ultimate formulation of the law of God, not to be revised or reformulated by mere mortal and fallible human beings. In Egypt, Algeria, and Palestine, the Shari‘a is virtually ignored as a guide to specific legislation or government policy on many vital issues. The remaining Muslim countries, which adopted Western-style legal and political systems under colonial tutelage, enshrine Islamic law in their codes and constitutions to various degrees. These nations range from Pakistan, with its intense political agitation over the interpretation and implementation of Shari‘a, to Indonesia, a self-proclaimed secular nation that is the home to more than 180 million Muslims.

Takfir — the condemnation of a Muslim by another Muslim as a kafir (i.e., disbelievers outside the pale of Islam) — is strictly prohibited in the Quran, the Hadith, and the writings of many eminent Muslim authorities. But fatwas of apostasy and heresy as well as kufr within the Muslim ummah are neither few nor far in between.

After Prophet Mohammad’s death the leaders of the Muslim community consensually chose Hadrat Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s father-in-law and one of his earliest followers, to succeed him. At that time some persons favored Hadrat Ali, Prophet Mohammad’s cousin and the husband of his daughter Fatima, but Ali and his supporters (the Shia Ali, or Party of Ali) eventually recognized the community’s choice. The next two caliphs (successors)–Hadrat Umar, who succeeded in A.D.634, and Hadrat Usman, who took power in A.D.644–enjoyed the recognition of the entire community. When Ali finally succeeded to the caliphate in A.D.656, Muawiyah, governor of Syria, rebelled in the name of his murdered kinsman Uthman. After the ensuing civil war, Ali moved his capital to Iraq, where he was murdered shortly there after.

Hadrat Ali’s death ended the last of the so-called four orthodox caliphates and the period in which the entire community of Islam recognized a single caliph. Muawiyah proclaimed himself caliph from Damascus. The Shia Ali refused to recognize him or his line, the Umayyad caliphs, and withdrew in the first great schism to establish the dissident sect, known as the Shias, supporting the claims of Ali’s line to the caliphate based on descent from the Prophet. The larger faction, the Sunnis, adhered to the position that the caliph must be elected, and over the centuries they have represented themselves as the orthodox branch.

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July 7, 2005

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Haseen Khan
Hassan Siddiqui
Hidayat Begum
Hina Anwer Mahmood
Hina Quraishi
Hirra Mansur Mirza
Hisamuddin Siddiqui
Huma Malik
Huma Quraishi
Huma Shamsi
Humayun Rashid
Humayun Zaheer Siddiqui
Husn Ara Begum
Iftikhar Ahmad
Iftikhar Nabi
Ihteshamuddin Khan
Ijazi Begum
Iman Anwar
Imdad Hussain
Imran Ali
Imran Khalid Khan
Imran Quraishi
Imrana Mirza
Imranullah Khan
Inayat Fatima
Intezar Ahmad
Iqbal Ahmed
Iqbal Hussain
Iqbal Zaki
Iqra Ahmed
Iqtedar Ahmad
Iram Malik
Irfan Ahmad
Irshad Hussain
Irshad Nabi
Ishaq Ali
Ishtiaq Hussain
Ismail Khan
Izhar Hussain
Jahan Ara
Jahan Ara
Jahangir Ahmad
Jameel Ahmad
Jameel Khan
Jameela Begum
Jamila Ahmad
Jamshed Anwer Mahmood
Jamsheed Begum
Jani Begum
Javaid Ahmad
Javaid Ahmad Siddiqui
Javaid Shahid
Javaid Siddiqui
Javeriah Ahmad
Jawad Anwar Siddiqui
Jazib Rashid
Jibran Akhtar Siddiqui
Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan
Kaneez Fatima
Kanwal Parvaiz Siddiqui
Karamat Hussain
Kashif Sarosh
Kausar Ali
Kausur Khanum
Kehkashan Begum
Khaleeq Ahmad
Khaleeqa Begum
Khalid Jan Shah
Khazina Ishaq Khan
Khudaijah Khatoon
Khurram Ahmad Siddiqui
Khurram Aleem Siddiqui
Khurram Ali
Khurram Siddiqui
Khursheed Begum
Khursheed Begum
Khushnoodi Begum
Khusnoodi Begum
Kinza Ahmad
Kiran Ahmad
Kiran Mansur Mirza
Kiran Quraishi
Kishwari Khatoon
Kulsoom Fatima
Laeeqa Khatoon
Lateef Khan
Lubna Fareen
Lucile Beatrice
Madiha Mahmood
Maham Ahmad
Mahbub Ahmad
Mahbub Ahmad Siddiqui
Mahed Iqbal Ahmed
Maheen Qaiser Siddiqui
Mahjabeen Khanum
Mahmood Nabi
Mahmud Zaki
Mahnoor Ahmad Shaikh
Mahvish Khan
Majeeda Begum
Majid Hussain Khan
Maleh Khan
Malik Quraishi
Malka Riffat Naz Khan
Mansoor Aslam
Mansur Uddin Mirza
Maqbool Nabi
Maqbul Fatima
Maqsud Zaki
Maria Ahmad
Maria Akhtar Siddiqui
Maria Aleem Siddiqui
Mashud Zaki
Masood Farooqi
Mehnaz Sultan Siddiqui
Mehrun Khatoon
Mehwish Akhtar Siddiqui
Mirza Fahad Baig
Mirza Waheed Baig
Misbah Mansur Mirza
Mohammad Aamir
Mohammad Ahmad
Mohammad Ahmad
Mohammad Ahmad
Mohammad Ameen
Mohammad Anees
Mohammad Anjum
Mohammad Arshad
Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Aslam
Mohammad Azhar
Mohammad Fasih
Mohammad Ghosi
Mohammad Haseen Khan
Mohammad Hayat
Mohammad Imran
Mohammad Imran Khan
Mohammad Kashif
Mohammad Khan
Mohammad Moazzam
Mohammad Nabi
Mohammad Rafi
Mohammad Rizwan Khan
Mohammad Saqib
Mohammad Shafi
Mohammad Taqi
Mohammad Yasir
Mohammad Zaki
Mohammadi Jan
Mohammed Ahmad Shaikh
Mona Siddiqui
Mukhtar Ali
Mukhtar Hussain
Mukhtar Nabi
Mumtaz Nabi
Muneeb Ahmed
Muneeza Mahmood
Musarat Begum
Mushtaq Ali
Mushtaq Hussain
Mushtaq Hussain
Mushtari Begum
Mustafai Khanum
Muzayyan Khan
Muzna Farooqi
Nabeel Aslam
Nabeel Khan
Nabiha Shezre Khan
Nabil Khan
Nadeem Ahmed
Nadeem Ahmed
Nadeem Ali Siddiqui
Nadeem Khan
Nadia Ali
Nadia Khanum
Nadia Siddiqui
Nadira Khatoon
Naeema Khanum
Najam Us Sahar
Najiba Khanum
Najib-ul-Nisa
Najma Ahmed
Najma Aleem Siddiqui
Najma Khatoon
Nargis Khatoon
Naseem Ahmad
Naseema Ali
Naseemullah Khan
Nasira Khatoon
Nasira Khatoon
Nasreen Jan Shah
Nauman Hussain Khan
Naumanullah Khan
Naushaba Farhat Khan
Navaid Shahid
Naved Khan
Naveed Ali Siddiqui
Naveed-us-Sahar
Nawab Jan
Nayab Khanum
Nayla Barkat Ali
Nayla Khan
Nayla Khatoon
Nayyar Jahan
Nazeer Khan
Nazish Jameel
Neha Hayat
Nida Khan
Nighat Begum
Nighat Jamal
Nighat Siddiqui
Nina Siddiqui
Nishat Maqsood
Noman Khan
Noor Jahan
Noor Navaid
Noreen Ali
Noreen Khaum
Noreen Siddiqui
Nusrat Siddiqui
Nuzhat Jamal
Omair Anwar Siddiqui
Omar Ahmad Siddiqui
Omar Khan
Osman Ahmad Shaikh
Owais Ahmad
Owais Ahmad
Parvaiz Shahid
Qaiser Mahmud Siddiqui
Qamar Ahmad Siddiqui
Qamar Naheed Khan
Qamaruddin Khan
Quraisha Begum
Rabia Khanum
Raees Khan
Raeesa Khatoon
Rafia Zaki
Rafiq Ahmad
Rafiq Ahmad
Rafiqa Khatoon
Raghib Hussain
Rahmat Jan
Ramiz Iqbal Ahmed
Rasheeda Parveen
Rashid Anwar Siddiqui
Raveeda Gul
Raza Ali
Razia Begum
Rehan Siddiqui
Riasat Ali
Rida Mansoor Ali
Riffat Siddiqui
Rizwan Khan
Rizwanullah Khan
Roofi Khanum
Roohi Talat Khan
Rubi Ali
Rubina Siddiqui
Ruqiya Begum
Saad Farooqi
Saad Nabi
Saadia Khan
Saadia Khanum
Saba Anwer Mahmood
Sabahat Khan
Sabeen Afsar
Sabina Siddiqui
Sabir Hussain
Sabira Khatoon
Sabreen Zubair Mirza
Sabrina Aisha Farooqi
Saddo Begum
Sadia Mansur Mirza
Saeed Ahmad
Saeeda Khatoon
Saeedan Khatoon
Saema Khan
Safia Begum Khan
Saghir Ahmad
Sahab Begum
Sahar Mahmood
Saiful Fatima
Saifullah Khan
Saima Malik
Sajid Hussain Khan
Sajida Khatoon
Sajjad Nabi
Sakhawat Hussain Khan
Salma Khatoon
Salman Ahmad Siddiqui
Salman Zaman Khan
Sameed Ali Siddiqui
Sameen Qaiser Siddiqui
Sameen Sobia
Sameena Ali
Sameena Khatoon
Samina Abid Siddiqui
Sana Siddiqui
Sana Waheed Baig
Saqib Mansur Mirza
Sara Humyun Siddiqui
Sarah Ahmad
Sarfaraz Nabi
Sarwari Begum
Sarwat Begum
Sauda Khatoon
Seema Khatoon
Sehar Khanum
Shabana Khatoon
Shadia Khan
Shafaq Nadeem
Shafiq Ahmad
Shafqat Hussain
Shaheen Rizwana
Shahid Hussain
Shahida Khatoon
Shahrukh Alam
Shahzad Ali
Shahzad Mahmood
Shahzadi Begum
Shahzaib Parvaiz Siddiqui
Shahzeb Khan
Shaikh Abdullah
Shaikh Ahmad Jan
Shaikh Ali Hussain
Shaikh Ali Jan
Shaikh Amanullah
Shaikh Azeemuddin
Shaikh Azizuddin
Shaikh Azmatullah
Shaikh Fasihullah
Shaikh Ghulam Abbas
Shaikh Ghulam Murtaza
Shaikh Habib Jan
Shaikh Kamal Mohammad
Shaikh Kareem Baksh
Shaikh Karimullah
Shaikh Mohammad
Shaikh Mohammad Akbar
Shaikh Mohammad Aslam
Shaikh Mohammad Faizullah
Shaikh Mohammad Hashim
Shaikh Mohammad Hayat
Shaikh Mohammad Jan
Shaikh Mohammad Yusuf
Shaikh Nabi Jan
Shaikh Nur Mohammad
Shaikh Rahimullah
Shaikh Vilayat Hussain
Shakeela Khatoon
Shakeela Khatoon
Shakira Khatoon
Shama Afroz
Shameem Ahmad
Shameem Fatima
Shams Saeed
Shamsa Begum
Shamsa Khatoon
Shamshad Ali
Shamshad Hussain
Sharjeela Abid Siddiqui
Shaugfta Zaheer Siddiqui
Shazia Ali
Siddiqa Khanum
Siddiqa Khatoon
Simra Khurram Siddiqui
Siraj Ahmad
Sofia Zaki
Sohaib Mahmood
Sohail Ahmad
Sophie Ariana
Soraya Siddiqui
Sufia Siddiqui
Sultan Ahmad Siddiqui
Sultana Khanum
Sumera Khan
Suraya Jan Shah
Suraya Siddiqui
Surayya Khan
Syed Abdul Malik
Syed Barkat Ali
Syed Basit Ali
Syed Kashif Ali
Syed Mansoor Ali
Tafazzul Hussain
Taha Ali Siddiqui
Tahir Bhatti
Tahira Khatoon
Talat Rukhsana
Talat Siddiqui
Talha Ahmad
Talha Bin Faiz Khan
Tameezan Khatoon
Tania Siddiqui
Tanveer Khanum
Tariq Nadeem Siddiqui
Taufiq Ahmad Khan
Taufiq Zaman Khan
Tauqeer Ahmad
Tausif Khan
Tayaba Khatoon
Tayyaba Khatoon
Tayyaba Khatoon
Tehmina Khanum
Tipu Faiz Mohammad Saleem
Tooba Faiz Khan
Tulan Khan
Umair Khan
Umair Saeed Khan
Usman Ahmad
Uzma Khanum
Uzma Quraishi
Varisha Pervez
Wahid Khan
Wajid Hussain Khan
Wajid Khan
Wajiha Mahmood
Wardah Khan
Warishah Alam
Waseem Ahmad
Waseem Ahmad Siddiqui
Wasif Sultan Siddiqui
Yasmeen Farzana
Yusuf Saeed
Zafaruddin Khan
Zaheer Ahmad Siddiqui
Zahid Hussain
Zahida Khatoon
Zahir Ahmad
Zain Ahmad
Zain Qaiser Siddiqui
Zain Saeed
Zameer Ahmad
Zamir Ahmadi
Zara Ahmad
Zara Nabi
Zarina Begum
Zarina Khan
Zaviyar Faisal Siddiqui
Zaynab Nabi
Zeba Ahmad
Zeenat Begum Khan
Zeeshan Akhtar Siddiqui
Zeeshan Quraishi
Zehra Parvaiz Siddiqui
Zoeya Bhatti
Zoha Ahmad
Zoha Ahmad
Zohra Khatoon
Zubaida Khatoon
Zubair Ahmad
Zubair Khan
Zubair Mirza
Zunaira Khanum

http://www.shaikhsiddiqui.com/siteindex.html

Siddiqui

July 3, 2005

Shaikh Siddiqui

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فارسی

We have created this web site as a record for our family history and as register for our relatives around the world. We will keep record of all our family members and those who marry into our family. If you are member of our family and have not been added to this database please contact us by selecting Contact Us tab on the top of the web pages. If you want to suggest corrections, add more family members, upload family pictures then please contact us.

The title of our family is ‘Shaikh’ which identifies our Arab heritage. The ‘Siddiqui’ indicates our family history through Hadrat (Saint) Abu Bakr Siddiq friend and confidant of Prophet Mohammad and the first Khalifa of Islam. According to our family traditions, our ancestors moved from Makkah to Baghdad in Iraq, then to Kabul in Afghanistan, and finally to Bareilly near the Himalayas mountains close to Nepal border in South Asia. According to our family history, our ancestors arrived in South Asia during the reign of Sultan (King) Mohammad Ghauri, and later settled in Bareilly during the reign of Mughal Emperor Mohammad Aurangzeb Alamgir. Nearly all members of our family resided in Bareilly until 1947, when they were forced flee to Pakistan due to massacres of Muslims by the Hindu and Sikh fanatics. Most of our family members settled in Karachi. Now our family members are scattered around the world and are beginning to lose contact with our ever growing family members. So we took upon ourselves to create this web site and make it as family register to keep names and album for photos of all our family members.

This web site is currently being designed and web pages of the family member are being added. We plan to finish adding all family members then we plan to add multimedia content i.e. streaming audio and video. Please continue to revisit the web site as new information is being added nearly every day. All dead links, misdirected links, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, missing information, and suggestions should be emailed to us.

The Family Trees can be accessed by choosing Family Tree on the top index of each page. It can also be accessed by clicking icon. This icon is placed in the web pages beside the name heading. This icon is also placed in the Family Tree for ancestor or descendent Family Tree. The web page of individual family members can be accessed by clicking their names in the Family Tree. If this icon is before the name then it will display ancestor Family Trees and if it after the name then it will display descendent Family Trees. You can traverse the Family Trees in both directions.

The Search can be used to search this web site for information about your family. You can enter your search criteria to find pages in this web site that have the information that you are searching. For example, search for ‘Mohammad’ will bring list of web pages in this site that contain that name.

The Web Site Index page contains the index of all pages in this web site. The Links page contains links to our family’s other websites, blogs and important links.

We have representatives of our family in Pakistan, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, United States, and Canada and the closest to your location will help confirm your relationship to our family and add your information to our database.

We have also started DNA testing of our family members, The family members are encouraged to test their maternal mtDNA and paternal Y-DNA  at FamilyTree DNA project Siddiqui Project. You can join this project and request DNA testing kit  at Siddiqui Surname Project.

We have created Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish (Suomi), French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Urdu versions of the information pages of this web site. We have many Urdu documents about our family that will be uploaded to this web site in the near future.

http://www.shaikhsiddiqui.com.


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